A woman has spoken of the “surreal” moment she escaped as her home was destroyed when a chimney fell through the roof.
Caroline Macdonald was showering when the structure crashed though the roof of her flat above The Venue bar on St John Street last Saturday.
The victim managed to flee the the flat as the roof crumbled, grabbing just her handbag.
The frightened resident even considered climbing down scaffolding that was attached to the building beside her.
Aerial footage of the damaged building is above this article
She said: “I was in the shower. When I came out I heard this loud rumble.
“I could see bricks falling into the street and cracks appearing in my living room wall.
“I was frozen to the spot. I didn’t know what to do.
“It was a very surreal moment. Standing in the hall, I thought I was trapped in the flat.
“The cracks were getting bigger. I didn’t know how to get out.
“Do I run this way, do I run that way?
“I thought maybe I should climb down the scaffolding.
“Then my friend came up, we grabbed my handbag and left.”
Caroline stayed with her friend in Dunning the night of the incident and was moved into the Salutation Hotel the following day.
She has been living in a temporary flat ever since, unsure about her long-term future.
The resident had lived in the St John Street flat since 2008 and lost all her belongings when the roof came down.
She hasn’t been able to access the building since.
Caroline said: “I’m still wearing what I had on Saturday.
“(I’ve lost) everything I own. My furniture, the pictures of my children.
“I won’t know what I’ve lost until I’m looking for it.”
She joked that she had also lost around 150 pairs of shoes.
Venue to reopen
The Venue hopes to reopen on Friday via their back door with a hard hats and high viz fundraiser for Caroline.
The pub is just waiting on final clearance from engineers on Friday morning.
Frank Burgerseed, owner of The Venue, said: “We’re just lucky that no-one was hurt. Thanks for all the support .
“At the moment we’re hoping for Friday (February 14) but things can change.
“We will be fundraising money for our neighbour who lives directly above us; Caroline.”
Scott Matthews, who works at The Venue, had just left the pub moments before with Frank when the roof caved in.
Scott said: “We had left the building and about 20 seconds later the roof collapsed.
“I ran towards it. There were three guys in the doorway, I made sure they were safe and then started getting people out the building.
“It was pretty scary.”